Ottawa repatriating 6 Canadian children from Syria without mother: advocates 

Six Canadian children have left a Syrian prisoner-of-war camp and are due to fly to Canada without their mother, who cannot come with them because federal authorities have not completed a safety assessment for her, a family says. advocates say:

The federal government has asked a Quebec woman, by today, whether her children will be on a flight home with other Canadians, plan to leave now, or remain in Syria with her. was given to determine

“I’m surprised. It doesn’t make sense,” Bain said in an interview Saturday. “That’s not how I expect Canada to behave.”

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The Canadian is one of many foreigners in Syrian camps run by Kurdish forces who have reclaimed war-torn areas from the militant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

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Bain said children between the ages of 3 and 16 have no families in Quebec. Bain’s organization helps families whose loved ones are involved in violent extremist groups. At least two of her six children were born in Syria. Quebec’s social service agency plans to divide the six into her three groups of two for her protection.

Mothers are unsure if or when they will be allowed to leave Al-Roy camp in northeastern Syria and are worried about how they will maintain contact with their children.

“She’s doing this for her children, and she’s afraid she’s doing something wrong.”

“It’s not a choice parents have to make,” added Lawrence Greenspon, an attorney who supports the family.

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Bain and Greenspon requested that the woman’s name not be released due to the sensitivity of the case and related privacy concerns.

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Greenspon argued in federal court, on behalf of several men, women and children detained in Syria, that Global Affairs Canada must arrange their return and refused to do so. He said that refusal would violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Greenspon reached an agreement with the federal government in January to bring home six Canadian women and 13 children who participated in court proceedings, all 19 of whom are imminent migrants from Syria. I am planning to take a flight back to my home country.

A Quebec woman and her six children were also not part of the lawsuit, but there was hope to board the plane with them.

The children are allowed to leave Syria, but their mothers are still undergoing federal safety assessments, Greenspon said.

Mr Greenspon said separating mothers from their children violates Canada’s international commitments and government policy to assess the possibility of repatriation. I’m saying we shouldn’t do this.”

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Global Affairs Canada did not immediately respond to questions about the Quebec family’s case.

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Bain received a November 24 letter from Global Affairs stating that the woman and her six children are Canadians detained in the region as specified in the government’s January 2021 policy framework. It was written that it meets the criteria for the federal government to consider support for

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The letter noted threats to the safety of the woman and her children “given the dangerous security situation within the camp.” It also cited reports of deteriorating sanitation and living conditions, including possible cholera outbreaks and intermittent access to food and clean water.

Bane said the woman was beaten and attacked while in custody.

As part of the repatriation process, the RCMP recently interviewed Canadians detained in Syria. The Quebec woman spoke to The Mounties last Wednesday, but she was confused and she had a terrifying experience, Bane said. Was told”.

Bain knows 10 Canadian children held by non-Canadian mothers in Syria. These mothers have decided not to send their children to Canada as part of their repatriation, she said.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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